UAE | General

No clarity on Abu Dhabi residency visa regulations

Confusion over tenancy contract rider as different versions of rule float around

  • By Anjana Sankar, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 21:00 July 3, 2013

  • Image Credit: XPRESS/Ahmed Kutty
  • In a bind: Visa applicants at a typing centre in Abu Dhabi. Many are seeking clarity over the tenancy contract requirements

Abu Dhabi: Does one need to furnish a tenancy contract from Abu Dhabi to apply or renew a residence visa in the capital?

The answer is not clear with different versions of the rule abounding.

While the official government call centre insists an Abu Dhabi tenancy contract is an absolute prerequisite, an immigration official said the rule only applies to government employees.

“When I called 800 555, I was told that I need a tenancy contract from Abu Dhabi to renew my residence visa. I live in Dubai and my tenancy contract will not be accepted,” said an Indian civil engineer working in Abu Dhabi.

Conflicting statements

When this reporter contacted the call centre, similar requirements were reiterated. “The rule applies to all. Whether you are a public or private sector employee, you need to submit a tenancy contract from Abu Dhabi that is attested by the Abu Dhabi Municipality,” said the call centre agent.

However, when XPRESS approached an official at the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs -Abu Dhabi (GDRFA), he said the rule applies only to government employees.

“You should submit a copy of your company’s trade licence along with your application if your tenancy contract is not from Abu Dhabi,” said the official.

Last year, it was made mandatory for all employees across the UAE to submit a valid tenancy contract along with their residence visa applications.

However, the GDRFA Abu Dhabi office was accepting tenancy contracts issued in any other emirate.

A rule issued by the Secretariat General of the Executive Council mandates Abu Dhabi government empoyees to live in the capital or forego their housing allowance.

What now?

“Last week, we applied for new visas for some of our Dubai staff. But when we resubmitted the application with a trade licence copy of our company that has branches in Dubai and Ajman, the visas were issued,” said a PRO who works for an IT company in Abu Dhabi.

According to him, GDRFA officials are insisting on Abu Dhabi tenancy contracts for new residency permits.

Another PRO said their staff could not get residency permits as their tenancy contracts were from Sharjah. “Some applications got rejected when our staff who are based in Abu Dhabi but live in Sharjah applied for residency permits,” he said.

Comments (29)

Are you facing trouble in renewing your residence visa from Abu Dhabi?
  1. Added 13:23 July 4, 2013

    My company head office in Abudhabi ,my work place in Fujairah and I am residing in Dubai.Since I am recently changed my job,I have applied for family visa in May.First, they refused to accept the application due to the absence of tenancy contract from Abu dhabi. The person in the counter not ready to hear any explanation and not issuing token to meet higher officer and unsuccessfully I returned back. Next day ,our company PRO arrived and presented our company contract with Ministry of public works to execute construction works in Fujairah .Also they required Dubai tenancy contract and DEWA bill to resolve the problem and to issue my family entry permit.The same scenario was repeated during the visa stamping also. Many staff from our company also experienced the same trouble.

    Abdul Rasheed, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 13:03 July 4, 2013

    As the country is progressing there is a real need for unification in many areas which help in progression of country. Ministry of Health (MOH) exams, Driving Licence, Immigration procedures.. If these things unified like one country one law, the country will progress fast. Because of this hurdles many are suffering , many have to compromise many things. Hope the authorities will work more towards a One nation One Policy program ...

    Haneef Puttur, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:54 July 4, 2013

    All are not paid equal and people who earn less salary manage to get a tenancy in their name. Please consider all facts before implementing a rule rather than making money or favouring only a selected category of people. It is the lower grade people who work hard rather than others enjoying their hifi life style with the courtesy of the lower grade people.

    Anynymous, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 11:55 July 4, 2013

    I Just got a Job in Abu-Dhabi & signed the contract, But I stay in Sharjah with my Family. My wife is on comapny's sponsorship whereas my child is on my sponsor ship. Kindly advice if i change my Job from Duabi to AUH, I need a residencey contract from Abu-dhabi. It is not possible for me as I cannot afford my wife to leave her job & she cannot sponsor my child due to salary less than 10,000. I seriously need a clear opinion as to avoid my child & myselg getting in unnecessary trouble. We were planning to stay in Sharjah & continue as usual for my wife & child as job & schooling was fine. Only I thought of moving job wise up & down. Pls advise as soon as possible.

    Mr.Mohammed Ashraf, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 11:48 July 4, 2013

    I have all my documents(PASSPORT+VISA+Emirates ID+ Salary certificate+Labor contract+tennancy contract al ain municipality stamped) and trying from since November 2012 residence visa for my mother but the al ain imigration refused to go give residense visa, can give only visit visa, I got advice its temprorary closed try in 2013. I tried 2/3 times in january and march. Nobody is there in my home country to look her thats why she wants to stay with me and I like too. But imigration people refusing and refusing. its very difficult.

    Rakesh Jayaswal, Al Ain AbuDhabi, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 11:44 July 4, 2013

    I have written to GN inquiring about the same issue too. I'm trying to get a residency visa for my wife and facing similar problem. I’m in UAE for employment purpose for nearly last 5 years. I’m on Abu Dhabi visa through my company and working in its Dubai branch. I meet all the criteria regarding eligibility to sponsor for a residence visa for my wife. Only issue concerned is that I reside in Dubai, not Abu Dhabi and I can only furnish a Dubai residency contract to apply. I emailed on Abu Dhabi website regarding this matter and they gave a clear verdict that it is not allowed to do so. I'm at a dead end now. I have no choice but to either transfer my visa to Dubai or leave work which is an extremely difficult thing for me do to! Reading this article surely makes me hope for that this rule is only for government employees and they make it clear soon.

    s.mehmood, Dubai, Pakistan

  7. Added 10:55 July 4, 2013

    But what is the final Rule and from where we get this contract if we are live in Villa and too much people are in Q too get visa in visa office. People who want to get visa are suffering

    rizwan, MBZ, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 10:19 July 4, 2013

    So lets talk about something new, there is no clarity about the residence visa since years, GDRFA should maintain a website with proper guidelines for the people of UAE(government and private), there is a website from the government regarding residency rule but no proper updates are provided for that, please do something about everyday PRO's and families are running around crazy trying to make our the new rule.

    Deepak joseph, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:13 July 4, 2013

    Even i am facing same problem with Abu Dhabi Immigration, I approached immigration even with our Abu Dhabi and Dubai trade license copy, They refuse to grant my family residence visa as my tenancy contract is from Dubai although i work for a private company.

    Imran, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 09:47 July 4, 2013

    Can the directorate kindly clarify the rules for residence visa for parents. As per the web-site, it is possible, as per the officers, there is no such rule, dubai has a provision for parents visa and is utilized by a lot of people. Pure confusion. No clarity at all.

    Amitav, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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